A New Tuesday Feature: Unconnected Tuesdays

With a recent post, Doctor Monkey Von Monkerstein has inspired me to start a new feature.

Until I get a catchier title, I’m calling it Unconnected Tuesdays.

In this new feature, I’ll post two pictures that have no relation to each other. I’m going to do my best to have no preconceived connection between the images that I post. I am not intending to make any sort of snarky comment with the collision of imagery, it’s just what it is – a visual non-sequitur.

Of course, I will be using my brain to select out the images for inclusion in each of these installments. I think it will be an interesting experiment if I can escape the perpetual connections that the unconscious mind makes. My guess is that there will be at least a few times that I’ll make a connection unconsciously without realizing it until someone else points it out.

Hopefully, it will also be an interesting experiment for the viewer of the images. I think that there is definitely an inclination to find associations in any groupings.

Okay, enough of my ignorant dimestore pseudobabble. To the pictures!

A hippo

A fluffy cloud

What The Shpx

A list of ROT13-encoded swear words.

Pop them in the Input box to the right and hit the “En/Decode input” button. I personally prefer decoding the words one at a time, as that adds to the excitement and sexual tension.

I suppose you could try guessing them first, if that’s your inclination, but this post is more about the swearing than the quizzing.

1. fuvg-sbe-oenvaf
2. crapvy-qvpxrq zbgureshpxre
3. phag
4. cvff
5. pbpxfhpxre
6. nffung
7. qvpxurnq
8. tbqqnza
9. fbahinovgpu
10. Ohfu

Shark Mix, ‘Cause I’m Just Happy With How It Turned Out

So, I’m happy to report, the mix tape is alive and well.

I have a couple things in mind to post regarding the magic of mix tapes, but this one is just a throw-off ’cause I’m happy how my latest mix tape for the kiddies turned out.

This is the 8th mix tape I’ve made for the kiddies, which I started making for them sporadically after the initial “Birthday CD” for the twins’ second birthday.

After the Birthday CD, there was the Super CD. And then the Rainbow CD. Then, we moved into the world of the “Mix.” There was the Monkey Mix, then the Lemur Mix, the Hippo Mix, the Tiger Mix.

Which brings us to the Shark Mix.

Here it is (just song and artist names at this point, but I could post the actual songs at some point if anyone’s innerested).

01 – R.E.M. – Stand
I have heard this song so many times, but it’s still damned good.

02 – Captain Groovy And His Bubblegum Army – Captain Groovy And His Bubblegum Army
It was on a 60’s bubblegum music compilation. My kids heard it, and immediately started saying they were the Bubblegum Army. How can you fight a Bubblegum Army? The answer is, you don’t. Besides, they let me be Captain Groovy.

03 – The Who – I Can’t Explain
I always loved this simple pop song.

04 – Can – Moonshake
Sneaking in a little Krautrock.

05 – The Stooges – No Fun
I played this for the kids a few times recently. My wife informed me when I got home from work that our two year old, after being told not to do some mischief, loudly stated “No FUN!” to her. What a damn punk!

06 – Clarence Frogman Henry – Ain’t Got No Home
This one was courtesy of Johnny Yen. Thanks again!

07 – Donovan – There Is a Mountain
Kinda profound and childlike at the same time. And it mentions caterpillars and butterflies!

08 – Everly Brothers – Illinois
My kids are going to know about the Everly Brothers.

09 – Velvet Underground – Sweet Jane
And this is the full version off the somewhat recently-released Loaded double-disc, by golly.

10 – David Bowie – Heroes
This song is great. And it really fits after Sweet Jane. It’s one of them magical mix tape transitions I never question, I just accept.

11 – Shonen Knife – Top Of The World
My kids loved the Shonen Knife song I put on from the Powerpuff Girls album. They recognized the band when they first heard this song.

12 – The Pogues – Gartloney Rats
My elder son in particular goes freaking crazy when this song comes on. It’s like he is being possessed by the Lord of the Dance himself.

13 – Smiths – Ask
Another sweet song, and a sweet mix tape transition. I played the video for the kiddies before, and they liked it.

14 – CCR – Bad Moon Rising
I played the hell out of a 45 of this when I was a kid. Hopefully they’ll like it too.

15 – Some Ridiculously Long Artist Name – Bubble Gum Music
I’m too lazy to look for the real name of the artist of this song, but it’s the same guys behind Ohio Express. I am a total sucker for 1960’s bubblegum music. And yes, “Chewy Chewy” was on the very first mix CD I made for the kiddies.

16 – Beastie Boys – Shadrach
I don’t think there are any swear words in this song. I don’t think there are. I hope there aren’t.

17 – The Primitives – Crash
Great 80’s pop song.

18 – Pylon – This,That
Continuing with some more catchy 80’s pop.

19 – Jimi Hendrix – Crosstown Traffic
I’m wondering if this will be too heavy. Hopefully not. I have had to re-edit some of the later mixes, mostly due to my daughter having a severe reaction to a song or songs on the mix (note to self: NO MORE SUFJAN STEVENS).

20 – R.E.M. – Disturbance At The Heron House
Prolly my favorite R.E.M. song. I don’t know why. It just clicks for me.

21 – Method Actors – Halloween
I have thought about including this on a mix for a long time, and finally broke down.

22 – Buddy Holly – Learning the Game
A mix tape for the kids, without Buddy Holly? Surely, you jest. Holly got a lot of play in our house when the kiddies were younguns, but this track wasn’t on the CD I had. This was actually put together posthumously — Holly’s bandmates laid down some tracks to complement the original recording which just had Holly and his guitar.

23 – Cat Stevens – Tea For The Tillerman
My daughter is going to love singing with the chorus kicking in at the end, I’m certain.

24 – Weissberg, Mandell & Brickman – Dueling Banjos
I was thinking the kids might not like this in the thick of things, being an instrumental where the first large chunk of the song is just a slow buildup. Thought I’d slip it in at the end.

The Victim Of A Tagback

Tim was kind enough to answer five of my questions, but unexpectedly slapped me back with five of his own.

Okay, I’ll answer, still smarting from the tagback.

1. What is a long time?

I don’t know. Two or three, I guess. The unit of measurement is relative to your circumstances.

2. How many licks does it take to get to the center of a tootsie pop?

None, for me at least. I chomp right down to the gooey, pseudochocolate center.

3. Who am I?

You are a sentence phrased in the form of a question, to which I am the answer.

4. Is there a God? Yes or no or…?

I’ll do the same thing for this question that I did when a girl gave me a note in 5th grade asking me, “Do you like me, Yes or No? Circle one!” I circled the “or”.

Sheesh, that sounds dickish, but I wasn’t trying to be. Sorry, potentially-existing God!

5. What is calculus?

It’s the stuff that you get on your teeth when you don’t brush well. Apparently, there are some scientific and mathematical enterprises dependent on this stuff, which boggles the mind.

Celebrities At Their Worst

Oh my, you are in for a treat.

Gone are the lyrics songs from the Splotchy jukebox.

Now, we focus on Celebrities At Their Worst.

The sound clips I include here are from Nick Bougas’ collection Celebrities At Their Worst, Volumes 1 and 2. Many of these sound clips have been passed on from generation to generation (my dad has the Orson Welles bit on reel-to-reel) but this collection assembles all these golden boners on a handful of compact discs.

I have cherry-picked my favorites. Look for the jukebox on the right side of me blog to play.

I am including Bougas’ liner notes regarding each track, with occasional additional comments by yours truly.

01 – John Wayne – The Duke was well in his cups when he lazily addressed the college R.O.T.C. group on the subject of patriotism. Even if you find Wayne’s “Kill the hippies to save the country” stance unpalatable, I’ll bet you’ll be using his clever phrase “It’s regoddamnediculuous” as soon as opportunity arises [Splotchy notes: Luke Wilson’s character said this very phrase at the end of Anchorman]

02 – Col. Harland Sanders – It’s late in his career and the Ol’ Kentucky gentleman’s brain, like his chicken, is fried… here he bumbles his way through take after take of a KFC promo spot. [Splotchy notes: Negativland would use this same sound sample in the wonderful Happy Heroes EP, a companion piece to their brilliant record Dispepsi]

03 – Orson Welles – It’s three decades down the road and the creative genius who once brought the world the cinematic epic Citizen Kane is now hawking frozen battered codfish… No wonder he’s so cranky! In this voice-over session, Orson angrily fixates on grammatical usage, fusses over sentence structure and easily establishes himself as the foremost menace to audio engineers everywhere. [Splotchy notes: This sound sample also made it onto the Negativland Happy Heroes EP]

04 – Mickey Rooney – Sure, Mickey may be small in physical stature, but as this string of outtakes illustrates, his distaste for recording local promo spots looms large.

05 and 06 – William Shatner – If you thought his vocal rendition of “Mr. Tambourine Man” was pretentious, wait ’til you hear this authentic slice of studio life… If a simple bit of direction as to how to render a line of dialogue truly “sickens” Bill (as he states here), he can always whip off that curly dish-shaped “tailor topper” he sports to serve as a nifty makeshift barf bag. [Splotchy notes: A homage to both sound clips appears in the film Mystery Men]

07 – Rich “Goose” Gossage – Why are sports people so hyper? They pull down tons of cash for participating in what is generally considered healthy, leisure-styled activity yet they’re so often bitter, vile malcontents… wait ’til you hear “Goose” Gossage squawking at a roomful of reporters that have apparently ruffled his feathers.

08 – The Troggs – This is it folks! And what a “Wild Thing” it is, too… the very tape that provided the inspiration for the brilliant movie satire This Is Spinal Tap… In fact, it now sounds incredibly like a deleted scene from the film… listen as a group of just-past-their-prime Rock Stars bicker and harangue one another over a simple musical passage any chimp could handily master.

09 – Linda McCartney – Q: What do you call a dog with Wings? Yeah, yeah, we all know the answer is Linda Mac, but after hearing this cut you’ll have to reconsider that reply… Let’s face it, a dog can occasionally howl on key. Here, prima donna hubby Paul is performing a live version of the Beatle classic “Hey Jude” while tone-deaf vegetarian Linda supplies back-up vocals. The clever technician who circulated this tape has isolated Linda’s sluggish droning so we can fully savor and properly reflect on her unique contribution to the world of musical entertainment.

10 – The Beach Boys – Good ‘Ol Murray, father of the sun-worshipping Wilson brothers, Brian, Carl and Dennis, served as their producer in more ways than one… He aided immeasurably to their early success by driving them like a plantation overseer (even causing permanent damage to Brian’s hearing with a cuff to the head). However, once the lads mastered the hitmaking formula, Dad’s role was diminished (much to his consternation) as is evidenced by this remarkable session tape. Murray barges in while the group is laying down the vocal track to one of their biggest sellers. In no time at all, he manages to reek havoc upon everyone’s morale, disrupt their progress with lousy suggestions and offer countless unwelcome criticisms. One highlight features a tasty retort from Brian about only “having one good ear left” when Murray starts bellowing directions at his rebellious and inattentive brood.

Here’s To Music, Here’s To Our Piano

We got a piano a few months ago. My sister-in-law had a friend in Oak Park who was looking to unload a piano. Our living room isn’t large, but there was room enough for an upright.

In my youth, I took piano lessons for about ten years (starting around when I was five). After my piano lessons ended I taught myself how to play guitar, had a brief stint at the drums, etc., but still played keyboards in a couple of rock bands.

Since my lessons stopped, I never have really taken the time to keep up my chops on the piano (honestly, it was hard enough for me to practice while I was taking lessons, being the lazy cad that I am). After we got our house, my folks offered to give us the piano that I had practiced on in my youth, but the cost of transporting it from Springfield up to our house discouraged us from taking it.

My sister-in-law’s friend was gracious enough to give us the piano for free, knowing that it was going to a loving home. We ended up just paying the moving costs, then paid to have it tuned and have some sticky keys fixed. The last time we visited my folks, I hauled back a large box of my old sheet music.

I really hadn’t felt posting about the piano until recently. I have recently started digging through some easier pieces that I used to play, and am slowly feeling the cobwebs fall away from my fingers a bit.

I have been practicing Ludwig van Beethoven’s Sonatina in F, and these practices have been some of the most pleasurable I have ever had.

I’m so excited about playing piano now. I’m so excited about having children, and seeing if they get bitten by the music bug. Our house is echoing with music-playing, and that’s a good thing.

Thank you to my sister-in-law, thank you to her friend, thank you to Mom and Dad.

Thank you, thank you, thank you.